Have you ever wondered how the best players of spin seem to score off almost every ball that they face?
Players such as AB DeVilliers, Virat Kohli and Hashim Amla rarely face two balls in a row unless they score a boundary. The board keeps ticking over with little or no risk.
The these players have mastered single options to never get tied down even against high quality spin.
Here are the things you can work on to up your rotation skills:
Single down the ground
This is a vital shot as most limited over cricket against spin is played with either one, or both straight men back on the fence. The ability to "beat the bowler" on either side is crucial.
Kohli has learnt that to beat the bowler on deliveries landing anywhere from back of a length to half volley.
Hitting straight singles drill
Many players set up drills where they strike the ball between two goals either side of the anticipated reach of the bowler. Simple use of cones will help to increase a batter's precision. As the skill develops, the goal can be made smaller and smaller to build confidence.
Remember, that the goal on the bowler's side of the wicket will be slightly smaller than the batters side. This is because excellent players of singles down the ground use the non-striker as a blocker to prevent the bowler from cutting the ball off.
To progress this drill, make note of the goal widths and the numbers of balls faced vs. the number of balls that go into each goal. This way, the practice is measurable and the data will support any player's confidence and competence development.
You can also change the thrower for a bowler. This way a bowler can practice fielding off of their own bowling as well as the batters developing their skills.
Single offside drop
This is a low risk option, which often causes the fielding side to argue and bicker when played regularly against them.
Michael Clarke is magnificent at this. He either plays forward with the intention of dead batting it just beyond the keeper's reach into the vacant space just in front of square on the off side or he pushes back off his left foot into leg stump and nudges the ball into the same area off the back foot.
The keeper and fielders all converge on the same ball and the batters complete a simple run.
To practice this, lay out 2 semi circles of cones on the off side of the stumps from the batting stumps end. One circle is 5 metres in radius, the larger one 8 metres in radius.
The intention of the drill is to hit deep cover and deep mid off with hard hit shots, yet when the ball goes into defensive lengths, the batter is asked to find a way of manoeuvring the ball into the "void" between the two circles.
If the ball is hit too hard and goes through both circles, then the fielders on the one have a chance of completing a run out. If the ball doesn’t reach the first circle, then the keeper will have a run out opportunity also.
Having control of pace off the bat is as important as being able to find a gap when rotating strike against spin.
As a progression, put a keeper in place and she can practice hunting the ball in these areas and throws at the stumps. The batters can practice calling, the judgement of a run and sprinting in competition with the keeper.
It's competitive and fun. Soon you will see your players taking these types of runs and completing keeper led run outs.